Securing Windows Server

About the guide

In this “guide” I’ll write about the things I summarized for myself while studying for the “Securing Windows Server 2016” exam. I will present the technologies, concepts Microsoft use and outline basic commands and actions for implementing these. In other words, this is not a guide in the true sense of the word. This is my ramblings and experiences reading the study material, with additional research. Take it with a grain of salt.

I highly recommend checking out the 70-744 Exam Ref written by Timothy Warner and Craig Zacker (it’s available on amazon) - the book is really good at presenting concepts and making it understandable. If you pick it up you’ll notice I have no fantasy and have shamelessly stolen every heading from them (thanks guys).

Please note, however:

  • The steps I go through in my guide are correct at the time of publishing, but technologies change. If you see an error, please contact me.
  • This is NOT a how-to or step-by-step - I will however try to link to those types of guides in every chapter I can find one.
  • The material on this page will at some point be touched by the passing of time i.e not applicable or just plain wrong - I take no responsibility for that.
  • I’m slow as a steamboat so this guide will probably never be finished.

Chapter 1 - Server Hardening

A server is a soft-target if operating system files installed from non trusted source, system is not current with system and security patches, administrators have weak passwords or if file systems don’t use NTFS and are unencrypted. Chapter 1 will look at implementing solutions to deal with this.

Part 1 - Disk and file encryption

Part 2 - Implement server patching, updating solutions and malware protection

Part 3 - Protect credentials and create security baselines

Chapter 2 - Secure a Virtualization Infrastructure

Here we take a look at implementing a Guarded Fabric solution, complete with HGS, shielded VMs and the likes.

Part 1 - Implement a Guarded Fabric solution

Part 2 - Implement Shielded and encryption-supported VMs

Chapter 3 - Secure a network infrastructure

It’s time for some networking! We will look at the Windows Firewall, setting up a software-defined Distributed Firewall and securing network traffic.

Part 1 - Configure Windows Defender Firewall (Part 1)

Part 2 - Configure Windows Defender Firewall (Part 2)

Part 3 - Implement a software-defined Distributed Firewall

Part 4 - Securing network traffic


At this point I took the exam and passed, so my I don’t have any notes or tips to pass on from the following chapters. Please consult the included links below for more information and exam prep.

Chapter 4 - Manage privileged identities

Chapter 5 - Implement threat detection solutions

Chapter 6 - Implement workload-specific security

Scripts and more

Securing Windows Server (70-744) scripts

More resources

The official Microsoft exam page for 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016 can be found here. is a great resource for securing your Windows Servers and AD-environment.

Also check out the /r/WindowsSecurity subreddit.

Last, but not least, my friend Chryzsh has a great gitbook with both blue- and red-team resources and information.